Information about Germany
Germany is one of the world's leading industrial nations in the middle of Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea, to the south by Austria and Switzerland to the west by France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic. The territory covers more than 350,000 square kilometres and is inhabited by a population of 81 million.
Germany is a federal republic with a parliamentary democracy, which is made up of 16 German states. The states are politically independent of the federal policy in certain areas.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a member of the United Nations (UN), NATO, the G8 nations and one of the founding members of the European Union (EU).
Some of Europe's longest rivers run through Germany, for example, the Rhine, Danube and the river Elbe. Approximately one-third of Germany is covered by forests. In southern Germany, the Alpine mountains have an altitude of almost 3000 meters, whereas the north of Germany to the shores at sea level.
Germany has a temperate seasonal climate. In summer (June-August) temperatures are usually 20-30 °C with longer dry and rainy seasons. Sometimes the temperatures can exceed 30 ° C. In winter (November to February) temperatures are usually at 0-10 °C, often accompanied by rain or snow. In some winters, temperatures can fall well below -10 ° C. There is much more snow in the higher regions of Germany compared to the lowlands.
In Germany there are a number of large cities, the most popular Berlin (capital), Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, with more than 1 million inhabitants respectively. However, there are also great natural and recreational areas such as the Wadden Sea (the largest in the world).
Christianity is the most widespread religion in Germany (about 60 percent of the population belong to a Christian denomination) and divided approximately equally between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Protestantism is concentrated in the north and Roman Catholicism in the west and south of the country.
German is the official language spoken everywhere. The German alphabet has three extra vowels “ä, ö, ü”. In addition, the letter ß (sharp s) is used in a few words.
Most of the younger people in Germany speak English and some other European languages.
The currency in Germany is the Euro. 1 Euro is divided into 100 cents. It is a European currency that is valid in more than 20 countries in Europe. Credit cards are accepted in larger shops, but cash is common, especially in smaller shops.
Since the age of industrialization, Germany is a global business partner and is today one of the largest exporting nations. Most products are in the field of machine and plant construction, particularly in the automotive sector, developed and produced. Many international companies are headquartered in Germany.
Due to its central location in the middle of Europe, Germany has a very good infrastructure for transport and energy. There is a large high-speed train network and many highways that connect most cities in Germany among themselves and with neighbouring countries.
Football is the most popular sport in Germany. There are many high-ranking German football teams who participate in international tournaments. Also motorsport has many fans in Germany.
The German cuisine varies greatly by region. In southern Germany the cuisine is similar to the traditional Austrian and Swiss cuisine. Pork, beef and turkey are the most consumed meat in Germany. There are many different kinds of sausages, which are produced in Germany, as well as a huge selection of breads. Most Germans are accustomed to it, a good breakfast in the morning, at noon and in the evening a large meal just a couple of sandwiches to eat.
Although a large amount of high quality wine is produced in Germany, the most popular national drink is beer. There are thousands of different kinds of beer in Germany, which only in certain regions are often available. In addition, carbonated mineral water (sometimes mixed with juice), a popular soft drink.